|What is an ADHD Diet?|
Ideally, an ADHD diet would help the brain work better and lessen symptoms of the disorder, such as restlessness or lack of focus. A diet may include the foods you eat and any nutritional supplements you may take. You may hear ADHD diets described in the following ways:
- Overall nutrition for ADHD
- This includes the food you eat daily. How can your overall nutrition help or hurt ADHD? The assumption is that some foods you eat may make ADHD symptoms better or worse. You may also be lacking some foods that could help make symptoms better.
- Supplementation diets for ADHD
- This includes adding vitamins, minerals or other nutrients to make up for deficiencies in your diet that may contribute to ADHD symptoms. The assumption is that nutritional component that your body needs is lacking from your diet.
- Elimination diets for ADHD
- This involves removing foods or ingredients that are suspected of contributing to ADHD symptoms. The assumption is that you are eating something unhealthy that triggers certain behaviors or makes them worse.
|Overall Nutrition and ADHD|
Scientific research on ADHD diets is limited and results are mixed. Many health experts, however, do believe that diet may play a role in relieving ADHD symptoms.
- Eat a high-protein diet, including beans, cheese, eggs, meat and nuts. Add protein foods in the morning and for after-school snacks, to improve concentration and possibly increase the time ADHD medications work.
- Eat fewer simple carbohydrates, such as candy, corn syrup, honey, sugar, products made from white flour, white rice and potatoes without the skins.
- Eat more complex carbohydrates, such as vegetables and some fruits (including oranges, tangerines, pears, grapefruit, apples and kiwi). Eating complex carbs at night may aid sleep.
- Eat more omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in tuna, salmon, other cold-water white fish, walnuts, Brazil nuts, and olive and canola oil. Omega-3 fatty acids are also available in supplement form.
|Elimination Diets and ADHD|
In elimination diets, you identify a particular food or ingredient you think might be contributing to or worsening ADHD symptoms. Then you stop eating anything containing that substance. If the symptoms lessen or subside, then you continue avoiding the substance.